53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2012
I've been waiting for a thin, light windows subnotebook that was powerful enough to run modern software. My needs were: small footprint, light weight, >WXGA+ screen, intel core processor, backlit keyboard, USB 3.0. I've owned Vaio Ps, Vaio Us, Viliv N5, Vaio X (this machine sort of replaces that model for me), Toshiba Libretto, Fujitsu U820, Thinkpad 240x, Thinkpad X61. After looking at the various crop of 2nd-gen ultrabooks (Asus UX21a would have been a contender but cannot find it anywhere) I was excited when the 11.6" S7-191 finally showed up on Amazon. This machine is almost perfect. First things first:
1. It's gorgeous. 12mm thick. Under 2.3 lb. 1080p touchscreen. Two USB 3.0 ports and microSD slot. First laptop that doesn't completely ape the offerings from the fruit company. I'd say aesthetically it is one of the most original and stunning designs of any PC laptop in the last few years. Fairly restrained, clean design with minimal branding. It feels solid and doesn't flex. Hinge has nice resistance. Build quality is very good. Kudos to Acer.
2. Screen is incredible. I've waited a long time for a high-res screen on an ultraportable and this screen does not disappoint. Fantastic viewing angles. Sharp and bright. Almost too bright (I keep it around 50% most of the time). Photos and videos look amazing. I'd venture to say this is the best screen on any laptop that i've owned. My only nit is I wish it were matte instead of glossy...I'll have to see if there is a screen protector that can solve this. Touch and swipe are accurate and snappy.
3. Keyboard is great for what it is. I'm typing this review on the S7 and although the key travel is a little shallow it's reasonable considering the 12mm thickness of the laptop. There is just enough travel to register the keystroke. It takes a little getting used to but the keyboard has gotten very comfortable to type on i'd say it's as comfortable to type on as my macbook pro. The electroluminescent backlighting is a really nice, soft light blue. Keystrokes register pretty accurately (thankfully, I haven't had any issues with super sensitive keystrokes as reported by some users although i'm sure it affects some keyboards) and the keys themselves are relatively quiet.
4. Performance has been surprisingly good. Cold bootup and shutdown takes seconds. I've run Photoshop CS6, Illustrator CS6, Acrobat 11, Outlook, Sketchup, all perform without a hitch so far. Windows 8 requires a learning curve but it's not bad, coming from Win7. I've also noticed that it seems like the fan barely runs and when it does it's barely audible and the laptop stays cool...barely even gets warm (I can't hear it running as I type this review).
5. Accessories...It's barely mentioned but this configuration includes the following in the beautifully packaged box:
- a vinyl/pleather carrying sleeve. It works and i'm glad it's included. Doubles as a nice mousepad.
- an extra battery! I'm not sure why it's barely mentioned. It's a little cumbersome to attach and remove, but i'm glad it's an option. The battery can be recharged on it's own, and it seems that when it is attached to the laptop, the laptop will draw the power from the external battery first and then from the internal battery second. There is a battery indicator light that can be pressed on the external battery to indicate the amount of charge left
- USB 3.0 to VGA cable
- USB 3.0 to ethernet
- screen wipe/keyboard cloth
- Bluetooth mouse with batteries. I haven't used it yet but i'm glad it's included
I wish there were more than 4GB of ram. It's been adequate so far but I would have paid extra for 8GB. Also the 128GB SSD seems a little small capacity nowadays. Again, I would have paid extra for at least 256GB. Like the other reviewer, I too bought a 64GB class 10 microSD SanDisk Ultra 64 GB microSDXC Class 10 UHS-1 Memory Card 30MB/s with Adapter SDSDQUA-064G-U46A and it lives permanently in the microSD slot. I also would have liked the i7 option as I know it exists (i've seen it in many videos and i'm pretty sure it's available in other regions, just not in the US). Acer's website is lacking of any information. Keyboard has some odd placements (delete key, tilde, missing function key row so F1-F12 must be accessed using the Fn+ key) but this wasn't a dealbreaker.
What WAS nearly a dealbreaker was the flaky wifi issue that showed up early on. Wifi would disconnect from sleep and would indicate it was connected but websites wouldn't load. After reboots would temporarily fix the problem it'd show up again upon wakeup from sleep or have erratic connections after a few minutes (wifi would show as connected but "limited"). After scouring the internet for solutions, I read about a setting for the Atheros wireless (always on, don't allow computer to disconnect from sleep) and a power setting for wireless (placed on maximum while on battery and while plugged) and I haven't had the flaky wireless issues since (crossing my fingers). Battery life doesn't seem to have taken that much of a hit in this new setting.
So the S7 has met all of my expectations, It's currently the best combination of portability, power and usability for my needs (all specs being equal to most ultrabooks, that 1080p IPS touchscreen plus microSD slot really is what sets it apart from most comparable 11.6" ultrabooks).
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2012
Just a minor update to the review below from a few months back....
I've now been using this machine for a while now and my opinions havent changed all that much except with respect to the battery life. It's really pretty horrible. The secondary external battery is included and doubles the time but are you really going to carry that thing around everywhere? And its somewhat hokey plugging it in. So while I still am impressed with this machine, I really am dissappointed that they would release it with a battery life this short.
So I've been waiting for an ultrabook like this to come to market. My requirements were size (wanted something smaller than standard 13.3), weight (under 2.5 lbs), touchscreen, and higher res than typical 1368x768
This is a tiny and super lightweight (2.2 lbs) laptop. Very impressive craftmanship and packaging. Almost apple-like. Also included is an external extended battery and a nice faux leather portfolio that perfectly fits the laptop (although not the charger).
Here's what I really like about this machine.
1. Amazing screen resolution - 1080p which you would think is almost pointless on an 11.6 inch screen. It's actually pretty awesome. Video looks great. Text is CRYSTAL clear albeit super small. I opted to leave res at 1080p but increased font to 125% (under display settings). That's the perfect setting for me.
2. Touch screen is responsive and pretty accurate - not as perfect as an ipad but very respectable. Unfortunately i dont yet find myself taking full advantage of the touch screen since I'm pretty picky about fingerprints. And you def see them after a session of touching the screen. The touch screen has come in handy so far for swiping to diff screens and for scrolling. It's almost like a hybrid experience at this point, like using the best of touch and the best of keyboard/mouse. I hope that moving forward I'll find myself using the touch screen more often since thats what Windows 8 was designed for. Call me an old school PC'er for now but i'm progressing.
3. Screen hinge is very cool. Easy to open to a certain point and then gets rigid after that. Useful since you dont want the screen to push backward while touching it. I will say though that initially opening the screen is a bit difficult since there's very little to get your finger under to lift it up (due to super thin top and botton and how they are flush to each other when closed).
4. The performance is impressive for such a small and lightweight machine. Super fast bootup (obviously due to i5 and SSD drive) and resumes from hibernation (not sleep) in just a few seconds. (Sleep is almost instantaneous)
5. The keyboard is small but actually very usable. Much more so than any other undersized laptop that I've ever owned or used. Its responsive, the keys are solid with great feedback, and they light up automatically when its dark. Literally a bright spot I wasnt expecting.
6. Battery life seems pretty good, but honestly I cant make any judgements about it since I havent really put it through its paces yet. From what I've seen so far, it's on par with what you would expect from today's ultrabooks. Likely somewhere in the middle of the road. The nice thing though is that if I'm in a situation where my battery is running low, I can plug in the little external battery for more juice. I have no idea how long that additional battery is supposed to last but I assume you can get those specs from Acer if you're interested.
Here's what I dont like.
1. SSD is only 128GB. I can live with that but only because I'm forced to. I picked up a 64GB micro SD and that will now permanantly stay in the machine to raise the storage up. I'll be looking forward to higher capacity micro SD's but they dont exist yet as far as I know. I'm told in the spring some time they'll be available. I would have really liked for this machine to include 256GB but it is what it is.
2. There are 2 usb 3.0 ports which is fine but there is a mini hdmi, a micro SD (instead of standard SD), and no ethernet port. They include an adapter for ethernet however. I suppose on a machine this small, thin, and light, you have to sacrifice some ports. Would be nice if I didnt have to though.
3. Edge of the palm rest is a bit sharp. Once in a while I find myself having to adjust my hands so the edge isnt digging into my palm. They prob could have slightly rounded off the edges although understandably that would take away from aesthetics. Still an oversight on Acer's part.
4. The trackpad is great (big, smooth, and responsive) although every once in a while it fails to respond for about a second or so. Hasnt really bothered me yet but that could change over time. Hopefully a driver update will address this.
In summary, there arent a lot of options (in fact I actually dont know of any other than this machine) that meet the criteria for the laptop I was looking for. I assume though that more will be popping up in the coming months (i.e. Surface Pro). This might be the first laptop of its kind but it certainly doesnt disappoint. In fact, I'll go out on a limb and say that it will be tough for any competitor to top it. It's an amazing technological achievement and I'm very happy with my purchase. Hope this is helpful to anyone considering to pull the trigger but couldnt yet make a decision.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2012
I've been waiting for a 1080p LCD in a 11-12" form factor and the Acer Aspire S7 does not disappoint. The IPS screen is bright and the colors and angles are excellent. Yes the font is very tiny but I have perfect vision and the fonts can be adjusted in any case. It's the best LCD screen I've ever owned in a laptop. As the other reviews have noted I'm disappointed in the max amount of memory (4 GB). I would've liked to have seen 8 GB but the difference in everyday use for me is negligible. The laptop is plenty fast with the SSD and Windows 8 boots up very quickly although I would have preferred Windows 7. The built-in battery lasts about 3 hours but I haven't tried the add-on battery. The keyboard is ok. Keys are a little flat but the backlight is nice.The touchpad could be better but I'm sure future drivers will take care of that. Nonetheless it is very usable as is the supplied Bluetooth mouse which included 2 x AAA batteries and connected right away. Lastly, the audio sounds awesome for a machine this small. You'll get a nice velvety sleeve to protect your computer. Overall a well worth it machine that I highly recommend.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2013
This is a revised review of the acer s7 191 11.3 inch model.
Have had this laptop for over a month now. Can definitely say it is the most asked about laptop I have ever had. While take it out of it's provided acer suede grey envelope sleeve, many people do a double take and many have come right up to me and ask where did I get it from. Many asked if it was a new MacBook pro or MacBook Air. After I tell them about it they are amazed at the brilliance in the screen and the thinnest and solid build and pure simplicity of the design.
The ultrabook is light, very light. The design is much more stunning then the MacBook air, im not just saying this, many of my friends that have a MacBook air admire the design and are envious of the touch capabilities, micro hdmi on the rear (missing on the MacBook air 11 inch), 2 USB 3.0 ports and a provided micro SD card slot (also missing on the MacBook air 11 inch). With the provided VGA adapter and usb Network Adapter (not included with a macbook air) it is an all in one design that just works. Amazing design. Throw in the touch screen and full HD 1080p display and I could not say no. The 128GB storage space may sound small but If you grab a 64GB Micro SD card and have it live inside the MicroSD slot, it is a huge help, also another add-in solution (although it does take up a usb slot) is a nano micro sd adapter that ([...]) can help add more storage.
These solutions above do require the purchase of extra cards but save the write loads to the HD and will save it some life over time. A 64GB micro SD card was on sale for 49$ on sale and is very reasonable for use as a download hard drive and file storage. The micro sd usb adapter only accepts 32GB cards but 32 GB cards are extremely cheap now and can be purchased for not more than 15$ on eBay. Again both solutions save the SSD from extra writes and give it more life over time.
Some things I would like to mention, the fan on this laptop will turn on, although it is in no way loud, its something to note, the fan exhausts and intakes from the back so make sure it is not blocked.
It also has a flaky Bluetooth Mouse that has a problem connecting.
There were reports that the wireless adapter drops signals, this was true until they released a newer wifi adapter driver that fixed the issue. Make sure you get it, as long as you have the latest one you should be good.
Secure Boot cannot be disabled on this system, it uses EFI system and uses two 64GB LG SSDs setup in raid 0. The reason why I mentioned that secure boot cannot be disabled is for those who are looking to install Windows 7 and dual boot. Unfortunately, until Acer releases a new bios update that allows the secure boot feature to be disabled, you will not be able to install Linux or Windows 7. This is also true about the 13 inch (391) model.
The brightness, as pointed out earlier uses intel's adaptive brightness feature which is glitchy and will reduce your true brightness, and prevent you from getting to true 100% brightness until you turn off the feature in Control Panel>Power Options>Click on any power option and select "change plan settings" then click "change advanced power settings" from here expand the "Display" category and you should see "Enable adaptive brightness" Turn both settings to "OFF". Do this for all three power profiles, High Performance, Balanced, and Power Saver.
Also something else to mention, the screen, because it is a touch screen, and a beautiful and useful one at that, is prone to attracting dust. Make sure you keep one handy as it collects lint and dust very easily. The screen is made from Gorilla Glass and does not scratch easily but I wouldn't want to test it either.
The keyboard on this ultrabook is very nice. Very simple and clean. As mentioned by others, the F keys are accessible only while pushing the Fn key and the corresponding key. You can turn off the touch pad, mute, put the computer to sleep, rotate the screen, turn off wifi, increase or decrease and also turn off the backlit keyboard as well. One nice feature. Delete key is placed between the space bar and arrow keys, beside the option key.
The sound is amazing on this laptop, the down fire-ring design really immerses you in the sound. You can really tell that it is stereo and with the provided dolby digital home theater software enable, it is not just more immersive, it is noticeably louder and music sounds much more high quality. It is literally amazing and not gimmicky like the older Sound Blaster software found on older PCs. One tip I will add is to disable "volume leveler" and "dialogue enhancer" and enable and "intelligent equalizer" and "surround virtualizer". The sound is amazing and you can adjust three different profiles for quick switching.
Other than that, the battery is not the greatest, I get about 2.5 hours on high performance and 3.5 on power saver and somewhere in between on balanced. The extra battery is kind of cumbersome to use first time, but make sure you take the time to look at how it attaches as doing it wrong could be painful and break or snap the battery if your not careful, it is not flimsy but just a bit cumbersome. It can be charged independently of the laptop which is very nice and also has a visual meter to tell you how much life is left in it. It does pretty good adding an extra 3-4 hours on modest use.
The speed of the ultrabook is also fast and snappy with the provided ssd and is much quicker then my 2009 MacBook air T9800 Dual core 2.6 Ghz Intel Processor. 1080p playback is flawless, looks amazing and clarity and color is great.
The touchpad is multi gesture capable as well and comes with the elan software to configure it.
Other than that, like others have stated, it is a great true laptop, perfect for on the go use. I can carry it one handed without fear of fatigue and is very portable. I thought the 1080p screen would be hard on my eyes but it has really worked out beautifully. Make sure you pick up a nice HD wallpaper from interfacelift.com to really show it off.
I think this laptop, if secure boot could be turned off would get 5 stars no problem, but because it does not allow me to install any other OS's, I will with hold it, but considering not too many people will care it truly is an ultimate portable laptop, the size of the iPad but with much more full capabilities.
Amazingly light, beautifully designed, wonderfully full featured and 100% worth it. Nothing on the market at the moment compares at this form factor and all of its features. Extremely happy with the purchase and have been recommending it to everyone that asks.
I am work for a large technology company at a corporate office and everyone here has been looking to get one as well upon my recommendation.
Thank you amazon and acer! Great Job.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 8, 2013
There are plenty of good, informative reviews here, but there are some confusing sources of information regarding what's included with this S7-191-6640 model. Some listings of accessories (including Acer's own website) don't list things like the Bluetooth mouse, the case, and/or the adapters (usb-to-Ethernet and microHDMI-to-VGA). All of those came included in my S7-191-6640 box, along with the computer, power-supply and additional, external battery. Additionally, there was a white microfiber cloth with an Acer logo included that came between the keys and screen. I've never seen that mentioned. So if you like to protect the screen from the keys (when folded and in a laptop bag, for example) then know that there might be one included.
Also, the protective case DOES accommodate the s7-191 with the external battery attached. The flap is designed with enough play that it still easily secures while wrapping around the battery. (See my uploaded photo)
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2013
I've had this laptop 4 days now. First off, I knew the battery life wasn't going to be great, but it's awful! Max of 2.5 hours when web surfing and word processing. It also takes a full 2-2.5 hours to charge it. The advertised life is grossly exaggerated.
The external battery back is not very seamless and looks ugly. I'll add some photos of it. The battery pack doesn't show up as an extra battery in Windows so you can't see the life on it without pressing a little button on the side of the battery. It's also cumbersome to attach. It was definitely an afterthought.
The wireless issue that others have talked about is certainly a problem. I randomly have my wireless connection stop working about once every 2 hours of use requiring me to turn airplane mode on and off.
The keyboard has extremely low travel. My Microsoft Surface Type keyboard has more movement in the key press. I'm willing to sacrifice that for size, but some may not. I'm a fast touch typist and it hasn't really bothered me. Warning, if you buy this laptop in Canada, you will end up with the french keyboard which has split up the shift and enter keys (not recommended).
The touchscreen is amazing. It works better than I could have hoped for and using a combination of mouse and touch is very efficient on this device. Text can be a little small at times especially for those web browsers (Chrome) and applications that don't scale fonts. This is my first glossy screen laptop and I haven't found it to be annoying yet. In certain light you can see your fingerprints though.
The touchpad is one of the best ones I've used. It's roomy and I like it just as much as the one on my Macbook Air. It responds great, the gestures work, and it clicks nicely. There is no separate right click button, but clicking in the bottom right area will result in a right click.
There are plenty of accessories with this too. A bluetooth mouse, a high quality sleeve, micro(?)-hdmi to VGA and a USB ethernet adapter come with it. The bluetooth mouse it comes with works great for me. It has a notched wheel which I prefer and the wheel is also great as a middle mouse button. See the url below for a photo of the accessories. The slip case also exposes the AC input while stored and will accommodate the external battery too.
The aluminum finish is awesome
The system is very quick, even with only 4gb RAM. My main workstation has an i5 @4.5ghz, 32gb RAM and a high end SSD, but this isn't much slower.
I can't think of any alternative notebooks to this if you want something of similar weight and size with a high res touch-screen display. The Zenbook prime would be a good candidate if they ever come out with the touch-screen version they promised. However, this thing will probably go back to the store for its awful battery life.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 2013
After reading the reviews of others with similar requirements to mine: small & lightweight, SSD, great screen, a real processor (ATOM and his AMD brethren need not apply) and RAM, etc., I elected to pull the trigger on this guy last week. I've been using it non-stop ever since and it's a keeper. Here are my observations after that amount of time (disclaimer: I vastly prefer ultra-portability over the bulk associated with a litany of features I'll rarely use, and have owned dozens of mini laptops, netbooks or whatever else they're being called that year over the course of my 20year IT career):
- Size, weight and form factor are all just about perfect.
- Boots phenomenally fast! It's done before I can get my hands on the keyboard.
- Keyboard is backlit, comfortable and well laid out (not a given by any means on small notebooks).
- Large, responsive multitouch track pad is a delight.
- The screen is fantastic: bright & crisp.
- The speakers are remarkable. My expectation of laptop speaker quality is zero, and despite the jargony sounding "professionally tuned dolby home theater", I didn't expect anything different here. They're actually half decent. Much better depth and sound stage that I'd thought possible from such a small set of drivers.
- Windows 8, after it's done acting like a toy and has been beaten into windows 7-like submission (see classicshell.net), is actually quite fast.
- Acer doesn't officially support installing Windows 7 and the resulting driver support for that superior OS (at least from a professional use standpoint) is questionable.
- If you've read any published reviews, you've heard tell that the fans are loud. Yep, they are.
- Light on expansion ports. I'd be very surprised if there weren't space enough inside the chassis to have included a full size SD card, a full size HDMI port and another 1-2 USB ports.
- The front edge is sharp, but fashion requires pain I guess.
- Battery life isn't stellar, but is as good as advertised. I knew what I was getting into and can live with it.
- Not Acer's fault, but there is a dearth of sleek 11.6" ultrabook cases on the market. It makes no sense at all to buy a sexy, hyper-portable ultrabook and then encumber it it with a frumpy case designed for a much larger laptop.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2013
I spent lots of time looking for this computer and I tried out numerous options. I wanted a windows 8 tablet, but I am a software developer and I need to have a keyboard. Plus I typically work on my lap. This ruled out all of the Windows 8 Tablets for me and I tried several of them (Asus Vivotab Smart, Samsung ATIV 700 pro, Microsoft Surface Pro)
I got the Acer Aspire S7-191 on sale from Amazon for $899 which matched my budget.
At this price it beats out the competition.
Here are the things I love - backlit keyboard, 1920 X 1080 touch screen, 11.6 inch form factor, super thin, aluminum screen back and keyboard surface, I5 processor, SSD drive.
With the extra battery, the battery life is good and typically last over 6 hours of active use. The deep sleep feature keeps it from wasting the battery and it is very quick to reboot. I actually like the extra battery, it adds a nice grip to carry the notebook around with.
With the speedy SSD and the I5 processor, 4G RAM seems quite adequate. The machine is super fast at all of the tasks I typically perform (software builds, SQL server etc.).
Although I do love this computer, there are a few things I wish for, so I am giving it 4 stars:
I wish the S7-191 had a Tent mode which would allow me to tuck the keyboard away for close reading. It does have a good
rotate feature that allows you to hold it like a big book in portrait mode. I am using this to get around not having a separate windows 8 tablet.
I wish it had a row of function keys on the top of the keyboard.
I wish it had 256G SSD instead of 128G. I am finding space to be an issue. I added an 64G microSDxc card and I have added a 1T NAS (Synology DiskStation) to deal with storage issues. That takes care of the problem, but I would still prefer to have more storage actually in the main drive.
I wish it had a digitizer pen. I loved using the digitizer pen on the Samsung ATIV and the Surface Pro and using the handwriting app on windows 8 is a very handy way to communicate.
I wish the edges on the aluminum keyboard surface were filed down smooth. They are a little sharp and it digs into the edge of my palms.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2013
What did I want? I wanted a laptop that is as portable as a tablet but with the full functionality of a laptop that a tablet cannot replace. I wanted my windows programs and environment. I wanted a head turner and a 'wow!' generator. I wanted something fast. The acer S7 gave all of that and more. People must always gripe about something but I rather appreciate a good effort. This impeccable device is worthy of all commendation. The illuminated keyboard is euphoric to use. The wireless mouse that comes with it not only works delightfully, but is the nicest looking mouse I've ever seen. The included adapters meant no stone was left unturned. The extended battery is a touch of genius. The inbuilt battery is fine and very impressive, though I can't seem to figure out how to get it out if you eventually need to maybe replace it. The packaging is top notch and just delightful. Just unpackaging the device can put a grin on your face. It comes complete with a carrying case and cleaning cloth. The power adaptor is light weight. I've blown everyone away with this sleek and sexy device. I do a lot of typing as I write books and I move around a lot too. This is just right for me. The only slight issues I have are with windows 8 and not with the laptop. They should have allowed the window closing icon to remain as it is a drag (pun intended) to close windows with a mouse!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2013
I have owned my Acer S7 for about 6 weeks now. Sleek looking design, solid performance. I do not like Windows 8 (but that is not Acer's fault). Was having frequent wireless problems (drops, etc.). Yesterday, while on the road, an update was pushed/made available which said it would fix the wireless problems. I downloaded and installed.
Last night I assume a Windows update (or another update) was pushed to the device. This AM would not boot from the SSD. Attempted to fix the SSD (if corrupted) by following info on Acer website. Did not work, gets to my login screen and then just flashes the screen constantly (in some kind of loop).
Acer Community forums are down right now -- cannot even access Google cache pages with titles such as "Acer S7 will not boot after BIOS update."